There’s nothing finer than knocking up a super quick supper that punches well above its weight. Pressed for time and noticing my basil plant needed a haircut, I made a quick batch of pesto and tossed it through some capellini and tucked in. A lovely dish in less than 5 minutes.
Capellini is my favourite variety of pasta – but being so delicate it cannot handle a strong, thick sauce. By making the pesto a tad runnier than usual and adding a little pasta water, the results were fantastic.
Capellini & Pesto
90g Capellini Pasta
Large handful fresh basil
25g Grated Parmesan
Juice of 1/4 Lemon
Handful Pine Nuts, Toasted
1/2 Cup Mild Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
A little reserved Pasta Water
1) Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water for around 5 minutes, or until cooked.
2) Whilst the pasta is cooking, make the pesto. Blitz the basil, pinenuts, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor, gradually adding the olive oil until the desired consistency is reached – my pesto was a similar consistency to lightly whipped double cream.
3) Once the pasta is cooked, drain. Toss the pesto through the pasta, adding a little pasta water if required to loosen the consistency.
I love pasta and especially carbonara. When I was growing up I always looked forward to tucking into a bowl of creamy spaghetti. Unfortunately cream doesn’t quite agree with me these days.
Rather than giving up a beloved childhood dish, I now cook this adapted version which is cream free but equally as delicious.
The addition of peas and a little chili help to lift this classic dish. I cooked this version with gluten-free spaghetti, which requires a little more liquid but tastes just as good!
For the base: 1/2 Long Shallot Finely Chopped, 100g Chopped Pancetta, 1 Garlic Clove Crushed, 1tbsp Unsalted Butter, 1tsp Dried Chili Flakes, Large Handful Frozen Peas, Handful Chopped Parsley
For the Sauce: 2 Egg Yolks, 80g Grated Parmesan, Ground Black Pepper, Sea Salt, 6tbsp Pasta Cooking Water
1) First put your spaghetti on to cook in a large pan of boiling salted water.
2) Meanwhile make the base in a large frying pan by frying the pancetta, shallot, garlic and chili in the butter for 5 minutes or until the pancetta is crispy. Then turn down the heat and add the peas.
3) Whilst the base is cooking prepare the sauce. Combine the egg yolks with the parmesan and seasoning in a bowl. Whisk in the cooking water from the pasta.
4) Once the pasta has cooked, drain and add to the base. Quickly add the sauce and chopped parsley and toss to combine.
5) Serve immediately.
This is a gloriously quick dish to knock up for a delicious supper. With few ingredients to prepare it can be ready in as little as 15 minutes. Using good quality linguine will ensure the sauce clings to the pasta and you don’t lose any.
This is a sure winner for a casual dinner party or family supper and will brighten up those gloomy days.
Serves 2 (Easily Multiplied)
1 Packet raw prawns
6 Spring onions – sliced diagonally
Small tub of sun-blushed tomatoes with their oil
Handful of cherry tomatoes – Halved
1 Clove garlic – Chopped
1 Red chilli – De-seeded and chopped
1 Glass dry white wine
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Handful rocket – Chopped
Handful basil – Chopped
1) Put the linguine on to cook in a large pan of boiling salted water. Put a large sauté pan on to medium heat with 3 tbsp olive oil.
2) Once the linguine is half-cooked (around 4 mins) put the chopped garlic, chilli, spring onions, cherry tomatoes and sun-blushed tomatoes into the sauté pan. Allow to fry for 1 min.
3) Add the glass of wine to the pan, followed by the prawns. Turn the heat up high. Cook for 2 mins. By now your pasta should be cooked.
4) Drain the linguine and add to the sauce. Stir in the chopped rocket and basil, tossing the pasta in the pan to coat.
5) Add the lemon juice, toss to mix, then serve.
Equally as tasty without the prawns and with the addition of toasted pine nuts just before serving.